When supermodels Bella Hadid and Karen Elson strode down the Atelier Versace runway last month in Paris, it was the immaculate shimmering wine-red lips that sparked an instant obsession. That day, as romantic glitter-pressed mouths floated across our Instagram feeds on models like Mariacarla Boscono and Taylor Hill, the collective excitement grew. What, we wondered, was the next-level secret behind those jeweled smiles?
Four weeks later, Pat McGrath—the woman behind said lip mania—is holding court at the Dream Downtown. With a gesture, the makeup artist drops a thick round of gloss on the back of her hand, taps a fine gold powder alongside it, then sends clouds of dust swirling into the air with her breath, transmuting that clear glob into pure liquid gold. Next, a scoop of ultrafine ruby glitter is pushed gently onto a model’s lips by McGrath’s expert finger, re-creating that viral Versace look. These surrealist mouths are just two of the well-kept secrets she is revealing now, with the exclusive debut of Pat McGrath Labs Lust 004, an unorthodox lip kit that’s about to revolutionize your makeup bag.
The 11-piece collection takes stock of every decadent mouth McGrath has crafted over the past two decades, but looming large over them all is a bright crimson lacquer from 2009, with gold pigment swabbed in the center and rimmed along the Cupid’s bow. “Isn’t that amazing?” McGrath tells me, tracing her finger along a photo of it. Shot at the Ritz in London to illustrate the London Underground, it marks the first time she stumbled across that alchemical technique and a bit of a turning point in her pursuit of lipstick as art.
Since then, the statement lip has become a runway phenomenon—especially last season, where McGrath painted high-shine mouths at Fenty x Puma and Louis Vuitton, among countless others. “It’s quite funny, trends come and go, but the return of the lip in all its forms has been such a thing,” she says, citing social media as its root cause. “I wanted to create the ultimate editorial kit that takes you from nothing all the way to the most extreme, jeweled, three-dimensional mouth.”
There are three five-piece sets to choose from, each one containing a vinyl gloss, that molten gold powder, a jar of glitter, and two complementary lipsticks to be blended freely (McGrath never uses one single shade), all packed in the prettiest pink sequin-filled pouches. “I’ve been keeping this collection of colors for years,” she says of the different nude, wine, and oxblood tones. “You can find 30 shades out of two lipsticks, then you can add the glitter, the gloss, you can play with the Cupid’s bow as a jewel—you get so much out of just these few items.”
Launching August 30 at noon on McGrath’s site, with a Sephora release to follow, fans will, for the first time, be able to purchase singles—or snap up a full set for $150. “I love the fact that it’s called Lust,” McGrath adds. “Because that’s how we are over lipsticks, aren’t we? We just have to have them.” In this case, we definitely do.
Pat McGrath Labs Lust 004
Single lipsticks for $25; 5-piece kits for $60; the 11-piece complete set for $150
Available at PatMcGrath.com from August 30 at 12:00 p.m.
Available at Sephora.com and in select Sephora stores from September 8
Watch Hailey Baldwin, Hari Nef, and more take over a Brooklyn diner with makeup artist Pat McGrath:
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